On July 25, 2023, Deir Istiya villagers decided to protest the new colonist outpost being built on their land. Like many other protestors throughout the country lately, they decided to block a road. In demonstrations blockers of roads are handled with a water cannon, the “Skunk” (stench) truck, police violence and arrests. Those are miniscule compared to the demonstrations of Palestinians in the West Bank, where the minimum answer is a stun grenade, and suffocating demonstrators with teargas is the norm.
The army arrives, throwing stun grenades into the crowd. Booms and pushing all around. The teargas canister rifles are brought out, fired and people begin to choke. A colonist standing at the junction gets out of his car and grabs the Palestine flag from a demonstrator. The Palestinian tries to grab the flag back, and immediately soldiers hum him to make sure the flag stays in the hands of the colonist. Another colonist photographs a soldier pushing demonstrators, and says: “There, those are the haters of Israel”. Another soldier pushes an Israeli solidarity activist who asks him what all this violence serves and the soldier says: “I go to the Tel Aviv demonstrations just like you do!” Today he chokes people with teargas, Saturday night he demonstrates in Tel Aviv’s Kaplan Street in the name of democracy.
The demonstrators all get on the sidewalk, but the soldiers are still not satisfied and continue crushing the protest. Demonstrators who say they are allowed to be on the sidewalk are pushed against the metal fence behind.
After everyone goes home, several soldiers are sent on a mission: they climb the bus stop roof to bring down a Palestine flag.